Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Nominate a Distinguished Member now


Can you think of a colleague who goes above and beyond in service to their community? Someone whose academic accomplishments are especially impressive? Or someone whose picture belongs in the dictionary under H for humanitarian?

Now is the time to nominate that colleague for the Illinois State Dental Society’s Distinguished Member Award. This honor is given annually to a member in good standing in recognition of significant service to mankind. 

The award is made on the basis of achievement in the following areas: civic, cultural, religious, humanitarian, academic and/or professional. The nominee’s actions must reflect favorably on the profession of dentistry.

Nominations should be submitted on the Distinguished Member Nomination form, currently available online. The nomination should include a documented account of the achievements that merit consideration for the award. Any component or branch of the Illinois State Dental Society, or any individual member, may submit nominations for the award.

The completed nomination form must be received at the ISDS Headquarters Office by June 1. Questions can be directed to ISDS’s Lisa Fowler at 800.475.4737 or


Illinois ,

Permanent link  Make sure your licenses to prescribe controlled substances are up-to-date or risk thousands in fines


CDS has learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration is auditing dentists to make sure their licenses to prescribe controlled substances are current. Without the proper licenses--or with an expired one--a dentist could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in fines.

Illinois dentists who prescribe controlled substances are required to register for a license through the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Dentists must also have a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In order to apply for the DEA license, you must have an Illinois license to prescribe controlled substances first.

To find out more about prescribing controlled substances in Illinois, see the ISDS web page, "Prescription Writing Authority." 

To make sure you are compliant, follow these steps:

IDFPR License

First, make sure that you are in good standing with IDFPR by keeping your Illinois license to prescribe controlled substances current. You can check your license status online.

If your license is expired, IDFPR advises that you come to their office in Springfield in person so you can get a "letter in good standing" that day. Otherwise, processing time is 4-6 weeks. 

If you have never had a license to prescribe controlled substances in Illinois before, you should fill out the application and mail it in. Coming in person to Springfield does nothing except save mailing time. IDFPR will not process a first-time application in person. Processing time is currently 4-6 weeks.

If your license is current, be advised that the renewal period for dentists in not yet open. The license to prescribe controlled substances will expire on September 30 for dentists.

DEA License

Next, make sure that your license with the DEA is current. You have to get your license to prescribe controlled substance from IDFPR before you can apply for the DEA license. 

If you've applied before, you can renew online.

If you've never obtained a license from the DEA before, you can apply online.

For more information

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation  

Springfield Office 

320 West Washington Street

Springfield, Illinois 62786

Phone: (217) 785-0820


Drug Enforcement Administration  

Diversion Control Program

230 S. Dearborn St.

Chicago, IL 60604

Phone: (312) 353-7875



dental news , state of illinois ,

Permanent link  Emergency dental program launched in suburban Cook County


Did you receive an email from CEDA recently, asking you to volunteer for the new Emergency Dental Care Program?

I got to speak with CEDA spokesperson Cheri Jones this week and learned A LOT about both the organization and the new program.

CEDA (Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County) is a 50-year-old organization, and the second largest recipient of federal block grant funds in Cook County. The City of Chicago is the largest recipient. CEDA has organized several human services programs that you’ve probably heard of, but the emergency dental program is the newest. It’s technically a pilot program through the end of 2012, but will be up for renewal in November.

The Emergency Dental Care Program works like this:

Eligible patients who demonstrate emergency dental needs will receive a voucher for up to $1,000 in dental care from any dentist who agrees to participate – that is, the dentist will deliver care in his or her private office and submit the voucher to CEDA for reimbursement.

Who’s eligible? Patients must 1) be residents of suburban Cook County, 2) be living at 125 percent of the poverty level with little or no dental insurance, and 3) demonstrate a need for emergency dental care. These patients will be screened for their eligibility by CEDA agents working with various social service agencies.

What’s considered an emergency? Dental pain that prevents the patient from chewing, eating, speaking or swallowing. Patients might also be unable to work or attend school because of their dental pain, or unable to gain employment because of their condition (such as missing their front teeth). This is a broad definition, and it is up to the dentist to determine the treatment plan. There is no list of acceptable procedures — nor a fee schedule — for CEDA volunteers to follow.

Only the patient must be a resident of suburban Cook County; CEDA is looking for dentists in suburban Cook County but also in the collar county towns that boarder Cook County and the edges of Chicago to treat qualified patients.

For more information about volunteering or getting one of your patients qualified, visit CEDA online or contact program director Yvonne Butchee at 312.795.8890 or


Permanent link  Register for the May 9 CDS Webinar



Jameson, CathyOn May 9 at 2 p.m., CDS will host a one-hour webinar on practice management. 

Ten Ways to Have an Excellent Practice in Any Economy 
by Cathy Jameson

Through this energizing and engaging presentation, Cathy Jameson offers you critical keys to your practice success right now.  Understand how these 10 areas can help stimulate your practice and stabilize you, your team and your patients!

  • Nurture teamwork within your organization.   
  • Develop and administer systems that are  effective and will remain stable in challenging times.  
  • Educate your patient family about the services you provide. 
  • Increase your treatment mix and attract new patients to the practice with smart and workable marketing strategies. 
  • Be a strong leader.  Make a decision to be positive, supportive and encouraging. 

The webinar is free to CDS members and $30 for non-members. It offers 1 CE credit. 

Register Now button 

* If you are unable to participate on the day of the event, the webinar will be made available on demand the following day. However, the webinar will only be available to those who registered in advance. 

The 2012 CDS Webinar is sponsored by CareCredit and Lighthouse 360.

 CareCredit logo    Lighthouse 360 logo 


Permanent link  Access to affordable restorative care improves in Chicago


While you were browsing the exhibit floor at the recent Midwinter Meeting, did you meet the folks from the Supportful Foundation? It’s a unique model of delivering charitable care, and they’re ready to expand in the Chicago area.

The Supportful Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 charitable foundation that promotes healthy living by facilitating programs and services that improve the well-being of individuals and communities. There are several programs under the foundation’s umbrella, but the Dental-ful program is of particular interest. 

According to the Supportful Foundation’s press release, “Dental-ful is now able to subsidize costs for dentists who perform charitable restorative dentistry while reducing financial burdens for patients so they can receive proper treatment.  This empowers and encourages dentists who want to deliver charity to underserved individuals in their community.” 

There’s a short application process, but successful applicants have much to gain. Patients receive the care they need at a price they can afford, and dentists who deliver the care do so at reduced prices for restorations and supplies, including crowns, bridges and dentures.

“The ability to connect two or more compassionate professionals for the benefit of the patient who is less fortunate is what makes the Dental-ful program really special,” Foundation Executive Director David Rodriguez said in a prepared release. “If patients come to realize the heart of the sponsoring dentists and suppliers, they will get more than a new smile.  They will get inspiration and encouragement to pass along creative forms of charity to others in their daily lives continually.”

If you didn’t get to meet them at the Midwinter Meeting, learn more about this new program online. If you think you have a patient who can benefit from this program, you’ll also find the application at the Supportful Foundation’s website.


access to care , volunteer opportunity ,

Permanent link  Cavities on the rise among preschoolers: Dentistry in the news


Happy kid at the dentist 

New York Times reporter Catherine Saint Louis looks at why preschoolers are getting more cavities in yesterday's article, "Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities." 

From the article: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an increase, the first in 40 years, in the number of preschoolers with cavities in a study five years ago. But dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with 6 to 10 cavities or more…. 

There is no central clearinghouse for data on the number of young children undergoing general anesthesia to treat multiple cavities, but interviews with 20 dentists and others in the field of dental surgery suggest that the problem is widespread. 

We asked CDS member, pediatric dentist and mom Dr. Cissy Furusho for her thoughts about the article.

“I had a lot on my mind, and brushing his teeth was an extra thing I didn’t think about at night,” said Melody Koester, quoted in the article. 

Cissy Furusho Pediatric Dentist“I’ve heard that from many of my patients,” Dr. Furusho said. “And I get it. When you’re trying to get out of the house in the morning—maybe you’ve got three kids who all still need some help getting ready—it’s hard to make the time to make sure everyone brushes their teeth.”

Her advice? “In an ideal world, you’d make sure everyone brushes their teeth after breakfast,” she said. If that doesn’t work, she offers these tips:

If possible, brush after lunch instead. “Families need to make sure their kids brush their teeth at least twice a day. Once just won’t cut it.”

Let them try to brush their teeth themselves. “Afterwards, you’ll still want to get in there to make sure the teeth are brushed well, but hand them the toothbrush with a bit of toothpaste and see what they can do.”

Have everyone brush their teeth together. This works well if you have more than one kid. “You can make sure that everyone brushed their teeth that day,” Dr. Furusho said.

“I tell parents at my practice, ‘Any toothbrushing is better than none,’” Dr. Furusho said. “If your morning efforts aren’t thorough, you especially need to do a good job brushing their teeth in the evening.”

"It’s not just about kids in poverty, though kids of lower socioeconomic status tend to get more cavities,” said Dr. Rochelle Lindemeyer, director of the pediatric dentistry residency program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania dental school. Affluent families may have nannies who “pacify kids by giving them a sippy cup all day,” Dr. Lindemeyer said. 

“I encourage parents to make sure their caregivers are educated about oral health for children, especially infants and toddlers,” Dr. Furusho said. “Sometimes parents will bring their nannies or even grandparents with them on dental visits so that I can talk with them and teach them how to take care of children’s teeth. Parents need to make sure that whoever is caring for their kids know the basics about good oral health.”

Brushing teeth twice a day used to be nonnegotiable, [Dr. Lindemeyer] said, but not anymore. “Some parents say: ‘He doesn’t want his teeth brushed. We’ll wait until he’s more emotionally mature.’ It’s baffling,” she added. 

“If you can’t brush your child’s teeth well because they fight you, you need to increase the number of times you brush their teeth in a day,” Dr. Furusho said. “I tell patients, “If you brush 3-4 times a day, even if it’s a struggle, odds are that you’ll hit each tooth at least once.”

“I know kids can really resist getting their teeth brushed. But I look at this way. Some kids hate baths, others might not like having their nose wiped or their face cleaned. Does this mean we never wipe their nose or give them a bath? No, we do those things because we know it’s for their benefit, even if they hate it. Same goes with brushing their teeth,” said Dr. Furusho.

The level of decay, they added, is so severe that they often recommend using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake. 

“It’s heart-breaking,” Dr. Furusho said, “because cavities are 100% preventable. Still, parents should know that using general anesthesia for dental visits is a matter of training and a dentist’s philosophy on how to best treat children. Not every dentist will insist on it, so you need to find the practice that’s right for you.”

Dr. Man Wai Ng , the dentist in chief at Children’s Hospital Boston, said she heard parents, rich and poor, make similar rationalizations about their preschoolers’ snacking, like, “I can’t ever imagine Johnny being hungry, so I’m laying out a whole-wheat spread that’s always available.” 

“Everything in moderation,” Dr. Furusho said. “With my own son, there are no off-limit foods. He even has gummies now and then. But with those sugary foods, you have to brush their teeth afterwards. It’s very important.”


dental care , oral health , pediatric dentistry ,

Permanent link  Reminder: Download your 2012 MWM CE certificate today!


2012 MWM Televised CE

If you missed your chance to download your CE certificate at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting, now is the time to do it. In order to download your individual CE certificate, you will need your badge with registration number, as well as the course verification code for each class you attended. If you no longer have your badge, please email Angela Powell or call 312.836.7300.

This service is free through December 31, 2012. There will be a $25 charge per certificate starting January 1, 2013. 



CE , midwinter meeting ,